Are you new to Germany and have multiple questions about the rules related to road accidents in Germany? Do you want to know the formalities you must complete after a road accident? Are you unsure about the broken vehicle and where it should be placed after the accident? Are you worried about the damages and thinking about who pays them?
Accidents may happen anytime, and that is for sure. According to the studies, accidents happen after every 12 seconds in Germany. Another study showed around 7000 car accidents every 24 hours in Germany. In most accidents, only the vehicle sheet is damaged, or there are minor collisions, but it is also of great concern for the parties involved in road accidents in Germany. Only some people know about the steps to take after an accident. If you are also among them, this article is for you, so read it till the end to find answers to your questions.
Measures to Take After An Accident in Germany
There are some mandatory steps to take in case of a road accident. We will also share about the accident report filing after a crash, so keep reading this article till the end. These steps will help you to stay calm, safe, and well-prepared during a traffic accident.
Here are some measures you should take while you go through an accident in Germany. Please remember them so that if you or someone else goes through an accident, you can take these measures to avoid more significant loss or inconvenience.
Call an Emergency Service
Immediately remove your mobile phone from your pocket and call the emergency service for help. There are emergency orange boxes or SOS telephones in Germany from where you can also make an emergency call. You can contact through these call boxes for free in an emergency.
Do Not Sign Any Paper
If someone asks you to sign papers, refuse immediately if you have yet to learn about those papers or you disagree with the explanation written on the documents. Do not panic, and stay calm. Do everything carefully, and you should know what you are doing at the moment. If the liability is disputed, do not sign at the place where an accident has happened. If the dispute is unresolved, you can ask the Association for Helping Accident Victims to resolve the dispute.
Report the Accident
Remember to report the accident before you leave the accident location. Going to the place without talking to the relevant authority or concern is considered offensive. If you do so, you may have to pay a fine or face imprisonment.
If liability is disputed, you should always report it to the police to avoid legal issues. If you are not informing the police, you should call the hotlines or an insurance provider to register the case with the insurance company officially.
Other Events to Report the Police
There are other events when you should call the police, as mentioned below;
- Drink and driving case
- Disputed liability in an accident
- If the person involved in an accident runs away from the scene.
- Driving under the influence of a drug or alcohol
- Accidents happen with more than two cars
- Foul play (road rage or provocation)
Share Your Contact Details
Leaving the accident location without sharing your phone number and other details is a criminal offence in Germany. If no one else is present at the accident place, you must call the police immediately.
Provide First Aid to the Injured Person
Offer first aid to the injured person. If someone is seriously injured, do not move the person. It is highly recommended to take a first aid course held across Germany.
Place The Warning Triangle
You should place the warning triangle at least 150 m away on the right side of the road. The warning triangle is used to secure the accident further. This also warns the approaching traffic about the emergency.
Wear Your Safety Vest
Wear your safety vest immediately. If you have helpers, ask them to wear the safety vest too. Everyone at the accident location should wear a safety vest.
Switch On the Hazard Warning Lights
Remember to switch on the hazard warning lights right after an accident in Germany. These lights are to signal the other drivers driving through the accident location.
Fill in The Accident Statement
After an accident, you must have an accident statement. Fill out the accident statement carefully and get it signed by the opposite party. Information written at the end of the accident statement must be filled in by the opposing party or driver in his language. You need help understanding the language of the driver, or else your insurance company will manage to read the language. Both drivers should write the accident statement.These should be filled out the accident statement. This statement includes information like;
- Date of the accident
- Time of the accident
- Contact details of the parties involved
- Contact details of the witnesses
- Insurance or details on the green card
- Confirmation of the injuries
- Explanation of the accident along with the details of damages
- Photographs for the legal proof or evidence to support your claims. (You must take photos of the vehicle damaged, license plate, or skid marks.)
- Signatures of all drivers who caused an accident
Sharing Location with Emergency Service
The most important factor during an accident is to indicate the exact and correct location with the emergency service. Below is the process to share your site with the concerned representative.
The first thing to share is the road name. You can also share the Autobahn number with the emergency service — for example, A5.
Name the two exit points of the Autobahn you are currently on. This is optional, but will help the emergency service reach out as early as possible.
If you need to learn about your exit points, find the mileage sign on the road. You will find the mileage sign on the right side of the road. Mention that mileage with the emergency service. These mileage signs are almost on all roads, either normal or Autobahn. If you cannot look at the mileage sign around you, move forward or backwards, as these signs are placed every half kilometre. SOS telephones are also available by arrows on white posts directing towards the nearest call box around 1.5 to 3 kilometers away.
Afterwards, share your travel directions. So the concerned emergency service has a better idea about your location.
Essential Things to Know and Remember
The procedure to follow in a road accident depends on several factors and the severity of the road accident. Depending on factors might include injuries, property damages, or police cases. Whatever the process, there are a few instructions and essential things you should know and remember to deal with the emergency or accident situation better. Let us discuss these important points below for your better understanding.
Emergency Call Numbers
Emergency call numbers in Germany are given as below;
- For police, call on 110.
- To get the fire brigade services, dial 112.
- To call an ambulance, dial 112.
- For minor accidents, there are two hotlines.
- The free emergency hotline of the German insurance providers is Tel: 0800 NOTFON D (use the letter keys on a mobile) or Tel: 0800 668 3663
- The hotline for car insurance providers is Tel: 0180 250 26
- For legal help or to call the German lawyer hotline, dial 0900 1 875 000 10 to get legal advice on the telephone. This telephone number is the premium rate number.
- Hotline for roadside assistance, breakdown recovery Tel: 0180 222 2222
Phone Without SIM Card
If you have a phone without a sim card, you cannot dial 112 from your phone. To call 112, you must have a sim card on your phone.
Accident on a Major Road
If an accident happens on some major road like a motorway, highway, or secondary road, look on the side of the road. Arrows are guiding you to the nearest emergency call numbers on major roads. These arrows are on the white delineator that reflects the guide post on the sides of these major roads.
Children Need to Stay Away.
Children and older people who can not provide first aid to the injured person should stay away from the accident place. Do not come close to the wounded person.
Accident on a Public or Private Property
Stay in the place if you get into an accident on public or private property. Going into this situation can stimulate the German Law’s hit-and-run clause. Running away from the scene is punishable by Law in Germany. Public or private property includes road signs, public or private buildings, sidewalks, streets, or types of equipment. Remember to take photographs of the damaged property to avoid any inconvenience, and you can submit those pictures for legal proceedings if you need to present yourself in court.
If you have damaged such property, try to contact the owner of the property that you damaged in an accident. If you are still looking for the property owner, leave a note so the owner can check it later and contact you. Keep in mind that leaving a note on a window is not enough. Undoubtedly, your intentions are right, but more is needed.
The same is the case with a parked vehicle. If you have an accident with a parked car, you should wait for the driver for at least 30 minutes. Try to contact the driver or owner, take pictures, call the police or an insurance helpline, and leave the place with a clear and promising note.
What is Must To Have in a Car?
While travelling, you must always have three documents with you, as listed below;
- Green card (Grüne Versicherungskarte)
- Letter of protection
- European accident statement
Let us know about these two documents a bit in detail.
The Green Card (Grüne Versicherungskarte)
A green card is an international certificate of insurance issued by your insurance provider, valid in 47 countries across the globe. This document is not legally necessary, but you must have it to avoid inconvenience in case of an accident in Germany. The information about your insurance company (name, contact, address, etc.) is mentioned on this card or certificate. This green card or certificate also contains information about you and your vehicle.
Letter of Protection (Schutzbrief)
The document supplement to your vehicle insurance offers you additional support. You can support yourself in your car accident. This includes vehicle breakdown assistance, spare parts shipping, towing service, or vehicle return transport. With this certificate, your driving is more manageable and protected.
European Accident Statement (Europäischer Unfallbericht)
The European accident statement is a document at the European level. A few copies are bilingual (English and French). Like a green card, having a European accident statement is also unnecessary, but you must have it to recover your losses or damages quickly.
These are necessary items to benefit yourself in a road accident in Germany. These items include;
- A first aid kit or box
- A reflective jacket, a safety vest, or a reflective waistcoat
- A warning triangle
- Fire extinguisher (optional)
Get Your Auto Recovered Quickly
Your vehicle may have a minor or significant breakdown during an accident in Germany. It will benefit you if you have already signed a membership with an auto recovery club or a motoring club. There are very good automobile clubs in Germany that also partner with other countries. If your vehicle needs minor repairs, they will offer you repair services on the road. If the car is badly damaged, they will offer a tow job. A few clubs in Germany offer membership discounts occasionally, especially for students in Germany.
Make Your Claims
Be sure to get the claims automatically. Have good feedback to ensure that the claims are processed in due time. You can contact your insurance provider on the same day to expedite the procedure. Your insurance company can ask you to visit the office or call the next day if the accident happens during closing hours, but there are insurance providers who offer 24/7 services through their website or mobile app. After submitting the case online, the insurance provider will contact you for further processing. Some of them have chat boxes to guide you through the complete process step by step.
Get Your Health and Vehicle Insurance
Health insurance is a must to have in Germany. It is always beneficial for you to get your health and vehicle insurance. In case of an accident, your health insurance provider will analyze the case to pay your medical bills. This will help you financially and save you from major medical expenses. If you hurt someone during an accident, and someone else is injured because of you, your vehicle insurance provider will pay for the injured person’s medical bills.
So this is all about road accidents in Germany. This guide will help prepare you for any emergency when you are on the roads of Germany. Remember what steps are necessary and what you should have in your vehicle to avoid severe damage. No matter if you are involved in an accident or you are just a witness, you should know everything about the accident that happened so you can deal with it in a better way. We wish you safe driving on the road in Germany.